In an article in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, Scott Cacciola and Jared Diamond claimed that the Baltimore Orioles won the baseball’s offseason. While their claim is simple, their support behind it is quite complex. Cacciola and Diamond used projected 2011 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) to rank baseball’s thirty teams.
What exactly is Wins Above Replacement? I’ll let them explain it.
The quality numbers are based on projected 2011 Wins Above Replacement, a statistic baseball wonks use to determine a player’s value compared to an average Triple-A scrub (Each team’s net WAR as well as each player’s projected value is listed in parentheses).
To be included in their team’s ranking, players had to have pitched at least 40 innings or played 50 games last season. The numbers don’t include players who signed extensions or prospects who are expected to play significant roles.
With a 9.0 WAR the Orioles won offseason champions above the Milwaukee Brewers (5.3), St. Louis Cardinals (4.4) and Washington Nationals (3.3). How will it translate on field? Only time will tell, but the Journal thinks it will result in a few more than 66 wins.